I saw a discussion recently about whether Bitcoin Core was following the Semantic Versioning scheme. I could not find information in the GitHub ReadMe.md or Contributing.md.

Luke-Jr stated that neither Bitcoin nor Bitcoin Core follow Semantic Versioning.

What versioning scheme does Bitcoin Core follow?

1 Answer 1


Bitcoin Core does not follow semver. BitcoinCore.org explains its Software Life Cycle as follows:

  1. Bitcoin Core aims to make a major release every 6-7 months.

  2. Minor releases provide maintenance, fix bugs, and might introduce minor features. Proposed changes to consensus rules are always first shipped in minor releases, so that consensus rule changes can be adopted independently from the release of new major features.

  3. Bitcoin Core releases are versioned as 0.MAJOR.MINOR, and release candidates are suffixed with rc#. Examples of each version type are:

    • release candidate: 0.12.0rc1
    • major version: 0.12.0
    • minor version: 0.12.1

Note that Bitcoin Core versions built directly from the master branch instead of a tagged release show up as 0.MAJOR.99.

Update in Dec 2020: The next "major" release after 0.21.0 will drop the leading zero and therefore be called 22.0.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.